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These violent and bloodthirsty incidents are un-Islamic, inhumane and barbaric. These are not acts of human beings, let alone Muslims.
It becomes a must to condemn these virulent and barbaric crimes in the strongest possible terms. Islamic or any other society has got no place for these heinous acts.
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March 28, 2009
A suicide bomber has blown himself up during Friday prayers at a packed Pakistani mosque, leaving more than 50 dead and scores wounded in one of the bloodiest recent attacks in the nation.
Blood-soaked caps, shoes and shirts lie around the flattened mosque, where dazed survivors look on as rescue workers pluck bodies out of the rubble, splashed with pools of blood.
The blast comes just hours before US President Barack Obama is to announce a new offensive against terror havens in Afghanistan and nuclear-armed Pakistan, in the hope of dealing a fatal blow to al-Qaeda more than seven years after the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.
The bomb on the weekly Muslim day of rest went off in Jamrud, a town in the restive northwest Khyber tribal region that is located on a key road used to ferry supplies to Western troops across the border in Afghanistan.
"More than 50 people were killed and over 100 others were wounded in the attack. Twenty five of the wounded are in a critical condition," Fida Mohammad Bangash, a senior administration official in Khyber, told AFP at the scene.
Only two minarets were left intact at the mosque, which is frequented by tribal police and paramilitary officers fighting against the Taliban and other Islamist militants in Khyber.
"The whole of the mosque collapsed and only two pillars remain. People were crying," said Waheed Khan, a tribal policeman on guard duty across the road.
"I haven't seen such devastation in my life," he told AFP. "At the same time that the imam said 'Alluh Akhbar (God is great)', the suicide bomber exploded. It was a huge explosion. Even the vehicles standing outside the mosque were damaged."
Tariq Hayat, the top official in the semi-autonomous tribal district, had earlier put the death toll at 48 but warned that many others could be trapped under the rubble after the roof of the mosque caved in.
"More than 70 people were wounded. There may be many more dead," he said.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani "strongly condemned the suicide attack" and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
It was the deadliest bombing in Pakistan, a frontline state in the US-led war on terrorism, since 60 people died in a suicide truck bomb at the five-star Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last September.
US officials say northwest Pakistan has degenerated into a safe haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who fled Afghanistan after the US-led invasion of late 2001 and have since regrouped to launch attacks on foreign troops in that country.
Pakistani security officials said they suspected the bombing was to avenge operations against Taliban fighters and other Islamist militants to secure NATO supplies into Afghanistan.
The bulk of supplies and equipment required by NATO and US-led forces who are battling a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is shipped through Pakistan, and the fabled Khyber pass is the principal land route.
Extremists opposed to the Pakistani government's decision to side with the United States in its war on terrorism have carried out a series of bombings and other attacks that have killed more than 1,600 people in less than two years.
The unrest has fanned international fears about deteriorating stability in the country, where Obama has said extremists - like in Afghanistan - pose a grave threat.
To win a war which aides said was "adrift", Obama plans to dispatch 4,000 extra troops to train the Afghan army, on top of 17,000 deployments already authorised.
Obama also will stump up billions of dollars of extra aid to help Pakistan secure its democracy, senior administration officials have said.
© 2010 AFP
May 28, 2010 - 10:29PM
At least 56 people were killed when gunmen wearing suicide vests and carrying grenades attacked two mosques in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Friday, said police and an administration official.
The precise number was difficult to pin down given the sophisticated nature of the attacks on mosques of the minority Ahmadi sect in two separate neighbourhoods of Lahore, where the recovery operation was still under way.
"We have recovered 40 to 50 dead bodies, only from Garhi Shahu," Sajjad Bhutta, the top city administrative official in Lahore, told AFP by telephone from the mosque at Garhi Shahu.
He said 16 people were killed in a second attack on another mosque in the Model Town neighbourhood, giving a minimum overall death toll of 56.
District civil defence official Muzhar Ahmed told AFP by telephone from the scene in Garhi Shahu the death toll was 64.
"We have taken as many as 42 dead bodies from Garhi Shahu so far and more are coming," he said. Another 22 died in Model Town, he said.
© 2010 AFP